No. 635.
Mr. Thompson to Mr. Bayard.

No. 188.]

Sir: In my No. 186 I inclosed a copy of the speech made by President Salomon in public audience the 3d instant, as published by La Vérité. [Page 893] His excellency having deemed it necessary to correct certain errors in such publication, has pointed out such errors in the official organ of the Government, Le Moniteur, copy of which, with translation, I inclose herein, marked respectively A and B.

I also transmit herein copy, with translation, marked C and D, respectively, of an article that appeared in the Courrier d’Haiti in reply to an editorial published in the semi official journal, L’Oeil, wherein it was most distinctly averred that there was nothing in the political movements that have lately taken place.

The article is sufficiently well put to call for some attention, as indicating the steps taken by this Government, which showed plainly that trouble of a serious nature was at hand.

I have, etc.,

John E. W. Thompson.
[Inclosure 1 in No. 188.—Translation.]

extract from the monitor of june 14, 1888.

The journals La Vérité and L’Avenir National, in their number of June 9 instant, have reproduced, very inexactly in several places, the words that his excellency the President of the Republic pronounced in his audience of Sunday, June 3. We cite among others the two following from La Vérité, where the thoughts of the President are quite falsely rendered. In the first place it is question of what his excellency said about the arrival of foreign vessels of war in our harbor:

“I see with regret, the presence in our waters of foreign war vessels. It is for me a cause of shame, a humiliation. They have come to protect the interests of their compatriots. My Government is strong enough to be at any hour master of all commotion, of all disorder. Foreign and Haytian interest will be watched over.”

Far from that, here are the proper words of the chief of state on that subject:

“What is sad to see is, that the uneasiness that reigned in Port au Prince has caused to come to our harbor foreign vessels of war. It would be a shame, a humiliation for me if those vessels came to protect the interest of their compatriots, for my Government is sufficiently strong to be at any hour master of any disorder and to protect the interest of Haytians and of the foreigners who are in the country.”

The other passage relates to what the President said of the proposals that were made to him during the time of the government of President Salnave. Here again the thoughts of the President are not the less distorted.

To show this it suffices to reproduce the text of La Vérité and the words of the President. In fact we read in the journal La Vérité:

“I come to power without the aid of any person, by the free choice of the national assembly. They who reach it by the force of arms do not keep it a long time. General Anselme Prophète, here present, made me proposals, under Salnave, tending to place the vessels of the Government at my order. I refused becasue I was the representative of the government of Salnave in Europe. Many would not have acted as I did.”

But here is what the President said in this regard:

“I came to power without the assistance of any person by the free choice of the national assembly. Those who arrive to power by the force of arms do not keep it a long time. I would never conspire to become chief of state. General Anselme, here present, knows something of this. He knows what he wrote to me one time, and what I answered him. Proposals were made to me under Salnave tending to place at my order the vessels that the Government had ordered in the United States to combat the insurrection at that time. I refused, being incapable of treason.”

Here an explanation is necessary.

General Anselme Prophète when in exile, at New York, after the fall and death of President Salnave, whom he had served with devotion and fidelity, wrote to General Salomon, transmitting to him the grievances of friends who complained that the latter did nothing to alleviate their fate. General Salomon answered to General Anselme Prophète that he had nothing to do for friends, who if they could not oppose the execution of his brother, of his parents, and of his friends, should have protested by their abstention. It is to this that the President of the Republic made allusion in the passage of his discourse concerning General Anselme Prophète, who is an honorable officer and has never betrayed any of the governments in whose service he found himself. [Page 894] The offer of the vessels was made at a time when President Salnave was still in power. Therefore it could have no relation to General Anselme, who was at the time in the country.

L’Avenir National on its side, relating a passage of the same discourse concerning General Jeanty, lends to the President the following words:

“They have a project now to have General Jeanty dismissed. I will not do it Jeanty is with Prudo and Jean Jumeau, the man who renders the greatest service to my Government. It is, thanks to these three generals, that I am able to maintain peace, etc.”

His excellency expressed himself thus:

“They want me to dismiss General Jeanty. I will not do it. General Jeanty has my full confidence. Dismiss General Jeanty, what confidence would I inspire to Generals Prudo, Jean Jumeau, Turenne Jn. Gilles, and all my other commandants of arrondissements, who aid me so powerfully and, without exception, maintain order and tranquillity?”

To say differently would be to hurt the feelings gratuitously of the other commandants of arrondissements, who all make the same efforts, showing an equal devotion to maintain and consolidate more and more the public peace. He cited but two or three, because he could not name them all at once. And that is why, assured of the devotion of his lieutenants and of the assistance of all good citizens, the chief of state says, and will not cease repeating, that his government is strong. And so it is really.

[Inclosure 2 in No. 188.—Extract from “L’Courrier d’Haiti.”—Translation.]

whom do they want to deceive?

In its number of to-day, L’Oeil journal, subventioned by the Government of the Republic of Hayti, strives in an article, grotesque enough, to prove that the 24th and 25th May past there was no movement, there was no disorder—briefly, that there was nothing.

If there was nothing, why was the state of siege proclaimed?

Does not article 187 of the constitution forbid the Government to declare in a state of siege any portion of the territory of the Republic, except in case of civil troubles and that of imminent invasion on the part of a foreign army?

If there was nothing, why has not the executive power, notwithstanding the desire expressed by the chambers and by the independent press, raised that exceptional measure?


Do they declare a state of siege in Hayti frivolously and when there is nothing?

If there was nothing, why place cannons in the streets? Why 8,000 armed men, with loaded guns, dispersed over the city?

If there was nothing, why for more than ten days respectable people could not close their eyes during the night on account of real howls uttered by the armed posts at the corner of each square?

If there was nothing, why did the eminent men, representative of foreign powers in Hayti, with all haste, have come into the harbor of Port au Prince war vessels to protect their compatriots?

If there was nothing, why these words of the President of the Republic addressed to General Anselme, words that the President begged that general to transmit to the troops:

“I have but praise to address to the army for its conduct during the last events. Every one did his duty, and I am convinced that everybody will do so to the end.”

If there was nothing, why did his excellency say, sufficiently loud to be heard by all the assistants, first at the palace, that since they forced him to it, he was going to shoot a heap of people, and afterward, on the sea-side, that there were people tired of living?

If there was nothing, why, then, send off two honorable elects of the people?

When the journal L’Oeil says that it is of their own will that these two honorable citizens have left the sacred territory of their country, it says knowingly the contrary of the truth. The letter of the honorable Senator Légitime proves this in a sufficiently clear manner.

Would to God that on the eve of the bloody events of September (1883) the diplomatic body had acted with the same firmness. What massacres, what crimes, what reprisals without name, would have been avoided; and yet on the eve of incendiary, of pillage, they cry everywhere: There is nothing.

The Courrier d’Haïti maintains its saying.

The firm and categoric attitude, as much on the part of the Government as of the diplomatic body, has prevented a crisis the issue of which at this hour remains still a mystery for everybody.

[Page 895]

That that energetic attitude has deranged the little financial combinations of certain ones, destroyed more than one unhealthy hope, is a thing acknowledged.

As for ourselves, we can but thank, and from the depth of our heart, those who have placed the tranquillity of the country, human existence, and their duty above the infamous traffic of money.

G. D. DeThouaré.